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December 20, 2011

HANNOVER MESSE 2012, April 23-27, Hall 27, B 66
18th Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells

Fuel cell-powered nose wheels on airplanes reduce noise and emissions at airports

Munich. 150 exhibitors from 25 countries can be seen at Europe’s biggest hydrogen and fuel cell exhibition in Hanover, Germany. At the 18th Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells in Hall 27, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will introduce its A320 Advanced Technology Research Aircraft with a fuel cell-powered nose wheel. The nose wheel is used to steer the aircraft while still on the ground.

Fuel savings
An airplane fitted with a fuel cell-powered nose wheel can move from the gate to the end of the runway without emitting pollutants or using its engines. "This means that up to 19 percent of the emissions produced in airports can be saved and almost all noise can be eliminated during taxiing," explained Project Leader Dr. Josef Kallo from the DLR Institute of Technical Thermodynamics (Institut für Technische Thermodynamik) in Stuttgart. DLR is still working on detailed models for the calculation of potential savings at airports. “The potential saving at Frankfurt Airport from the use of electrically-driven nose wheels for Airbus A320 class aircraft is about 44 tons of kerosene per day,” said Thorsten Mulhouse from the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance (Institut für Flugführung).

To the runway with a fuel cell
The fuel cell system installed in the A320 aircraft for the tests delivers enough electrical power to move the 47-ton plane across the apron. To accomplish this, the fuel cell system powers two electric motors that are built into the rims of the aircraft nose wheel. As a direct electrochemical energy converter that generates electricity from hydrogen and oxygen, the fuel cell operates with significantly greater efficiency than an internal combustion engine coupled with a generator. The hydrogen tank fitted inside the aircraft contains sufficient hydrogen for one full day of operation.

Better protection for engines
Through the use of fuel cells, the operation time of the main engines can be reduced, thereby extending the engine maintenance interval. On short haul services with up to seven take offs per day, using an electric drive for ground maneuvering means a reduction of up to two hours of engine operation per day.

Hydrogen as energy carrier
An increasing amount of energy is produced from photovoltaic and wind systems – the trend that is becoming more notable now that the focus shifts towards renewable energy. High fluctuation and occasional excess electricity are characteristic for the renewable sources. The excess electricity can be used to produce hydrogen, which thus serves as an energy carrier. The hydrogen can then either be fed into the gas pipelines or later transformed back into electricity using gas turbines or fuel cells. Multiple exhibitors of the Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells at the HANNOVER MESSE 2012 will demonstrate various methods of hydrogen production and storage.

Experience fuel cell vehicles (open-air site, East of Hall 27)
During the HANNOVER MESSE 2012 the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP), Berlin will provide Opel (GM), Daimler, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen vehicles for a test drive, giving the visitors of the trade fair the opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves. CEP - a consortium of currently 15 oil, energy and technology companies, the majority of the world’s largest car manufacturers, as well as two leading public-transport systems – was established to promote hydrogen as the "fuel of the future". The focus lies on demonstrating the practicality of hydrogen as a fuel, expanding the hydrogen fueling infrastructure and developing clean and sustainable hydrogen production processes.

The Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells
The 5,000m² exhibition area spotlights the latest products and innovations from all sectors of this rapidly-growing industry: stationary, portable and mobile fuel cell applications, fuel cell stacks and components, test equipment for fuel cells and batteries, reformers, hydrogen production, transportation, storage and infrastructure.

Energy mix of the future
As the world’s biggest expo for energy technology, the Energy trade fair at HANNOVER MESSE is the ideal platform for dialog and networking. In Hanover the energy industry showcases both conventional and renewable energy generation concepts along with transmission, distribution and storage technologies. In 2012 the major focus will be on renewable energy, smart grids, contracting, combined heat and power and hydrogen + fuel cells. These topics create an optimal synergy with MobiliTec, the leading international trade fair for hybrid and pure electric drive systems, battery technology and alternative mobility concepts.

About the HANNOVER MESSE 2012
The world’s leading expo for industrial technology, the HANNOVER MESSE 2012, April 23-27, unites eight trade fairs under one roof: Industrial Automation, Energy, MobiliTec, Digital Factory, IndustrialGreenTec, Industrial Supply, CoilTechnica, and Research & Technology. The partner country of HANNOVER MESSE 2012 is China.

Photos (high-resolution) of the fuel cell-powered nose wheel:

Press Contact:
Tobias Renz, Tobias Renz FAIR, Munich, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 89 7201 3840 / Mobile: +49 (0) 177 5218535
Email: / Website:

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